The 3T Italia Founder's Edition - Frame Production In Italy

The 3T Italia Founder's Edition - Frame Production In Italy

Written by Contender Bicycles, on August 27, 2021

It isn’t often that we see production bicycles made in Italy, but 3T’s dream of bringing frame production to Italy has finally come true. The result of this is the 3T Exploro Racemax Italia Founder’s Edition, a one of 100 frame that marks the start of 3T frame production in Italy. Contact us today to reserve yours before they're gone.

3t exploro racemax italia founder's edition at contender bicycles

3T has made a big deal of bringing frame production back to Italy, and for good reason. Making the decision is easy, but proper execution is much more difficult. After years of figuring out production logistics (3T has a very thorough explanation), 3T was able to make what is a lighter, stronger, and decidedly top-of-the-range Exploro Racemax. The 3T Exploro Founder’s Edition is the result.

3t exploro racemax italia founders edition at contender bicycles

The production of the 3T Exploro Founder’s Edition is quite interesting and has some similarities to the TIME RTM process we’ve come to love and appreciate. Most bikes use pre-impregnated carbon (shipped sheets of carbon that are cut to size) that is great for economies of scale and can produce truly excellent bits of kit, but it loses that ultimate control of layup that leads to less control of ride quality and carbon strength. Rather, what 3T does is use exactly the carbon fiber yarn they need to, woven with greater specificity than a premade sheet of carbon. Outside of it being more labor-intensive, it is also lighter and has a much better surface finish. A better surface finish makes for a stronger, more beautiful carbon fiber.

3T likens it to wrapping a piece of fabric around a stick compared to wrapping a string around a stick. The latter choice is much harder, but you can be more precise about where you want material.

What does the 3T Exploro Racemax Italia Founder’s Edition get you besides a mouthful of a name? Well, you get a lighter frame, fork, and seatpost - by about 10 percent - without compromising stiffness. You also get a few additional features including:

  • An engraved limited-edition plaque with your frame number out of 99.
  • Two carbon finish options
  • Custom iridescent clear paint options to best admire the carbon finish.
  • Your name under the clearcoat by the seatpost cluster.
  • Ability to specify 1x or 2x frame design.

3t exploro founders edition at contender bicycles

Besides that, it is the same 3T Exploro Racemax that we’ve ridden and really come to appreciate. Same geometry, same massive tire clearances, same aero optimization, same fun handling. We like the bike quite a bit, and the Italia Founder’s Edition makes the recipe all the more intriguing.

The first Founder’s Edition frame goes to the 3T Museum, but the other 99 are to be ridden hard. Want one for yourself? Contact us. We have a few slots remaining for size 54cm and 56cm frames, and we can work side by side with you to ensure you have your dream build.


  • Reality,

    Thanks for the kind words. I should’ve been clearer – 3T isn’t bringing frame production back to Italy themselves. It would be foolish for anyone to say that is the case, and 3T wouldn’t say that either. But 3T hasn’t produced anything in Italy in years; this is them bringing back their own Italian production.

    And is this an advertisement? Good question. We are a bike shop in the business of selling bikes after all, and the article ends with us offering up some of the frames we have coming. We about things truly as we see them to be – with as much info as possible so people can make informed decisions. Ultimately it is up to the reader to decide what information they find valuable. Otherwise, we’d all be outraged about falsehoods on facebook!

    Alvin - Contender Bicycles on

  • Dozens of racing bikes are produced in Italy – have been since the 1800s. Either you don’t do your diligence, or this “article” is an advertisement for 3T.

    Reality on

  • Bob,
    the frameset starts at $5999 including customizations. More can be found at the product –

    Alvin - Contender Bicycles on

  • How much $?

    Bob G on

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